Spider-Man is an action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4, based on the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Released worldwide on September 7, 2018, it was the first licensed game developed by Insomniac. The game tells an original story about Spider-Man that is not tied to any other existing piece of media, and covers both the Peter Parker and Spider-Man aspects of the character.
Critics called Spider-Man one of the best superhero games ever made, praising its game play, particularly the combat and web-swinging mechanics, graphics, narrative, characterization, and design of New York City, though felt it lacked innovation in its open world design. The game became a commercial success, selling 3.3 million copies in its first three days of release. It broke several sales records, including becoming the fastest-selling video game in Sony Interactive Entertainment’s history, the fastest-selling superhero game in US history, and is the best-selling PlayStation 4 game.
Spider-Man is a open world action-adventure game set in the borough of Manhattan in a fictionalized version of modern-day New York City. It is presented from a third-person perspective showing the playable character on screen and allowing the camera to be freely rotated around it. The primary playable character is the superhero Spider-Man, although specific sections of the game are played as his alter-ego Peter Parker, his friend Mary Jane Watson, and ally Miles Morales. Peter’s sections often involve solving puzzles, while Mary Jane’s and Miles’ segments involve using stealth to get to certain positions. Spider-Man can navigate the world by jumping, using his Web Shooters to fire webs to swing between buildings, running along walls, and can automatically run and jump over obstacles. Webs can be precisely aimed to pull himself towards specific points. Webs require physical objects to attach to for swinging, and the momentum and speed of the swing can be controlled by releasing the web at specific points to either go faster or higher.
Combat is enacted using three buttons: one for dodging, one for physical strikes, and one for web-based attacks. Webbing can be used to incapacitate enemies and stick them to nearby objects. Enemies knocked from great heights are automatically stuck to a nearby surface in a web-cocoon, preventing death. Spider-Man can also use the environment to fight, jumping off walls and throwing objects like manhole covers, grenades and webbing-restrained enemies. Successful and consecutive attacks build “Focus”, which can be partially used to heal Spider-Man, while full Focus allows for special finishing attack to instantly take down an enemy. Spider-Man possesses “spider sense”, shown as a white icon above the character’s head, indicating an incoming attack that can be dodged. A precise dodge performed just before the attack hits allows Spider-Man to retaliate against the enemy with webbing.
The game originally featured three difficulty levels, Friendly (easy), Amazing (normal), and Spectacular (Hard). A post-release update added a fourth “Ultimate” difficulty, increasing enemy damage and health while decreasing Spider-Man’s, and a “New Game Plus” option, which allows the player to start a new game using all suits, powers, gadgets and suit mods unlocked in a previous play through. The game also includes accessibility options, enabling players to skip the games various puzzle mini games, enable larger subtitles, automatically complete Quick time events and replace button tapping with holding.